Skip to main content

Full text of "An address"

See other formats

■#" .^^ 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 
State Library of North Carolina 

Jorttt Carol'ma State Librar/ 



Eugene Grissom, M, D, LL, D, 

a. 1). H. p. OF ^VllTH CAROLLK'l, 


JVfccsontc Frcttei'^iiLty cuicl fha ^Pnblia, 



Oil St. Johji/s Day, DeGeiuljer 27tli, 1881. 



4 ^ g 



Delivered Before the Masonic Ffcvternity and the Public 

at Wilmington, ^\ C, on St. John's Bay, 

December 27th, ISSl. 


Brethren, Companions and Sir Knights: 

"And tliese tilings we write 
unto you, that your joy may be 
full. This then is the message 
which we have heMrd of him, 
and declare unto you, that God 
is light." 

These are the words of him 
whose festival is this day honor- 
ed by the brethren of the mystic 
tve, in every Christian land un- 
der the sun. 

Most appropriate it is, that they 
whose earthly career is the 
search for light, should reverence 
as their patron Saint and Master, 
him who disclosed also that "if 
we walk in the light, as he is in 
the liii'ht, we have fellowship one 
with another." He who leaned 
upon the breast of his master as 
the beloved disciple, and to whom 
t!ie dying charge was given of 
the mother of the Saviour, the 
most precious legacy ever en- 
ti'usted to mortal man — he whose 
epistles are aglow with the love 
of fellow-man and whose life 
was spent in bestowing the 
corn of nourishment, the wine of 
refreshment and the oil of conso- 
lation, Saint John the Evangelist, 
well completes the parallel lines 
that guide Masonic life. 

It was to his hands, feeble with 
hoarv age, when well nigh the 

first century of the Christian era 
had passed, that the great mys- 
teries of the Apocalypse were re- 
vealed, in the rocky caverns of 
Patiiios, when like an initiate he 
stood the last among men, to wit- 
ness the magnificent symbolism 
of the fate of man, arrayed in su- 
pernatural glory by Divine pow- 
er — the last to be permitted to 
chronicle the secrets of God — the 
first to witness the final destiny 
of mankind. 

This sublime revelation of the 
unutterable mysteries bv their 
symbols, came to one chosen of 
God, whose life-long injunction 
illumined by practice more elo- 
quent than speech, was, "Little 
children, love one another." 

It is in accord with that com* 
mand, that the spirit of masonry 
moves upon the earth, and rejoic- 
es to commemorate his feast. 

Centuries have gone rollinginto 
the vaults of time, bearing each 
the annual tribute of our brother- 
hood on tills day. A thousand 
incidents of masonic historv il- 
lumine tlie past. The whole 
world is marked with monuments 
of this recurring season- -here a 
temple, there a column — now a 
hospital for the weary holy — 
yondei- a refuge from sorrow.Song 
and feast, poem and historic le- 


gend unite their fragrant memo- 
ries here, and we are echoing the 
voices of our ancestors in this 
joyous welcome, to tlie olden 
present, the past that is ever new. 
History delights to record the 
seven wonders of the world as the 
sublimest achieve. nents of man in 
the older ages,and orators exhaust 
the power of language to recount 
the triumphs of art and science 
under the blaze of modern 
discovery, but after all, what 
is the greatest wonder among 
mankind I Is it the Suez Canal, 
the St. Gothard Tunnel, or the 
Ocean Cable"? Is it tlie art of 
Italy, the science of France, the 
arms of German)', the magnitude 
of Russia, the wealth of England, 
or the progress of America! Nay, 
tliese are all, 
It is 

but fraofmentarv. 


the bond that unites all peoples, 
of ever}' tongue, in every land. 
Christian, Jew and Maliom- 
etan; whose history em- 
braces the chronicles of anti- 
quity, whose present exliibits a 
brotherhood that encircles the 
globe with its clasp, whose future 
we believe to be coeval witli the 
destiny of man. There is scarce- 
ly a strip of territory to day, 
where man acknowledges the 
being of his Maker, that masonry 
does not claim as her own. On 
the slopes of the Himalayas, by 
the waters of the LaPlatn, in tlie 
wilds of Australia, in tiie deepest 
valleys of Switzerland, in the 
depths of New Zealand, on tlie 

shores of China, in the forests of 
Canada, the lodge of the mason 
is built perfect and true, and the 
heart of universal brotherhood 
beats with a conmion impulse to 
Brotherly Love, Relief, and 

Is there anything like this phe- 
nomenon, thr()ughout the do- 
mains of earthi The philosopliic 
mind must be struck with aston- 
ishment at a spectacle so utter! v 
urdike any other featui-e of social 
development. There is some- 
thing here powerful enough to 
level every distinction, from the 
monarch to the peasant, every 
impediment of tongue, every pre- 
judice of birth, every obstacle ot 
distance, every artificial barrier 
that man has erected between 
himself and that last narrow bed, 
the opening grave, by the side of 
which all men come at last in one 
common and irresistible obedience 
to Divine will. 

It has been well said, by a 
Grand Master of distinction, 
Richard Vaux, of Pennsylvania, 
in an address of 1869, that 

"An Order that has centuries 
upon centuries encircling its his- 
tory, as the bark covers the trunks 
of primeval trees, showing, by 
the lines which mark each suc- 
cessive years' growth, their 
longevity and strength, must, of 
necessity, command the respect 
and admiration of mankind. 

Comparing it, in its majestic 
proportions, its hoary antiquity, 
its strength, beauty, and stability, 
with all other human institutions, 
it awakens the deepest interest, 



and invites tlie most tlioughtfiil who, li]<o Goethe, lives to com- 

study. jdete the fit'tietli year of jubilee, 

The ages, as they pass over, in masonic mysteries, 
do it homage. Time recoils from But there is a reply in the gen- 

his attacks upon it, to examine oral voice of human experience, 

his wenpon, and wonder liow it is which is sufficient to demonstrate 

resisted; the Spirit of Destruction the claims of this ancient order to 

lodges in its battlements and the respect of mankind, 
broods over the successive fail- The cause of masonry is on 

ures of its insidious influences; the account of the weakness and 

Genii of Unrest, Schism and vvickedness of men — the on{/l)i of 
Heresy, hovering around its por-j masonry is in tiie remote past, 
tals, at last fly, affrighted and 'and the cliief o^^yec^ of masonry is 

dazzled by the light ot unbroken the welfare of huuianity. 

Iwrraoii}^ which illuminates its 
sacred altars. 

The tongue of universal history 
knows not its language, and fails 
to record eitlier its origin or its 
works ; the }}hilosophers are si 
lent in regard to it, for they can- 
not teach its virtues or interpret 
its mysteries; poetr\' knows noth- 
ing ot the rhyme of its ritual, and 
music has no sound to ^ive voice 
to its universality. It cannot be 
described, for it has no parallel." 


It is natural, my brethren, that 
the question should often recur — 
and upon an occasion like this, 
when our friends without the tem 
pie engaire in the rejoicings of a 
festival like this, it is certain to 
suggest itself to every reflecting 
mind. What is the cause of Ma- 
sonry — when and where was its 
origin, and what ends does it pro- 
pose tn accomj)lish I 

Perhaps none of these inquiries 
can be lully answered in this 
mortal life. They are but known 
in part, to the gra}- haired mason, 

i'lie existence ot masonry 
through so many ages, and under 
ever^ possible phase of human 
life and experience, is proof ab- 
solute that it meets a great want 
of the human heart. Once with- 
in the lodge, everything is for- 
gotten by the true mason, but 
the brotherhood of his fellows, 
the search for truth, and the au- 
thority of his juaker. A mason, G. 
M. Whitehead, of N. J., in an ad 
dress in 1869, to G. Lodge, has 
beautifully said : 

"Here, we are all citizens of 
one country, which is the great 
globe itself: members of one fam- 
ily, which is the entire human 
race ; children of one Father, 
which is God.'* 

It is needless to speculate upon 
the precise date of the organiza- 
tion of Masonry Whether we 
accept the legends whicli connect 
its woik wit!i the buildino- of the 
temple f>f Solomon, and with 
events long anterior to that ofi-and 
dis[)la) of the art of operative 
masonry, as literal history or 
symbolic truth, all its sublime 


principles arise out of the earliest 
necessities of man. Its mystic 
symbols bear close relationship 
to the types and emblems of tlie 
spiritual life, the highest aspira- 
tions, and the most recondite 
mysteries of the older ages of hu- 
manity. There is internal evi- 
dence to every mason of reflecting 
mind and intelligent understand 
ing, that it existed before the 
advent upon earth of the Saviour. 
A writer, N. P. Langford, G- His- 
torian of Grand Lodge of Mon- 
tana, in an address of 1867 has 
justly said: 

"No institution contains more 
valuable undeveloped history 
than Masonry. Were all the in- 
fluences recorded, which, frcnn 
age to age, it lias exercised over 
the affairs of the world, a voUime 
of rare historic value would be 
added to our libraries. 

Masonry, in all its symbolic 
teachings, while it has quietly 
exhibited its power over conduct 
and action, is yet witliout a writ 
ten history. The story of its 
birth, its objects, its effects upon 
civilization, is traceable and tra- 
ditional; and the results of which, 
through its allegorical instruc- 
tion, it has been the fruitful pa- 
rent; the minds it has trained for 
earthly immortality; the noble 
plans it has originated: and the 
base ones it has overthrown; the 
light it has reflected upon past 
no-es and with which our age is so 
);idiant — all these, by the mvio- 
1 ibility of its ceremonial, are still 
hidden from the appreciation and 
ail miration of the world, and 

known only to the initiated. 

To reveal them would be to 
break the charm which renders 
masonry so dear to all its votaries. 
The great elements of its inde- 
structibility, that which has pre- 
served it through ages of barbar- 
ism, and given to it a greater an- 
tiquity than any other human 
institution, is its secrecy. We 
would not, if we could, tell the 
tale of its achievements. They 
belong to its archives — too sacred 
even to be comn^itted to durable 
monuments, and doubly dear to 
us, because their only record is 
the heart.'' 

Its great antiquity proves that 
it was established in wisdom, 
whether its m3'Stic lore was or 
was not gathered by Solomon, 
and it also proves the goodness 
of its aims, whether or i ot they 
were purified by St. John. 

"Simple, erect, severe, austere, 

Shrine of all saints — spared and 
blest by time.'' 

Says an ancient Pythagorean, 

'■^Laws repel men from crime, 
and excite to virtue. 

Manners and studies fashion 
the soul like wax, and through 
their energy, impress propensities 
that become, as it were, natural. 

It is necessary that these 
three should have an arrangement 
in conjunction with the beautifid, 
the useful and the just, and that 
each of these, if possible, should 
liave one or all of these for its 
final intention, that disciplines, 
manners and laws may be beau 



liful, just, and advantageous." 

This ideal of the wisdom of the 
philosopher is realized in the 
Lodge, and I need not remind 
mv brethren, of the lessons of 
Wisdom, Strength and Beauty im- 
parted in the manners and studies 
of masonry. 

One of tike most truthful and 
striking" declarations of Bacon 
may be found in these words: 

"It is Heaven upon earth to 
have a man's mind move in char- 
ity, rest in Providence, and turn 
upon the poles of truth." 

And of such is the true mason. 

No institution of such dignity 
and with such claims could de- 
scend from antiquity without en- 
countering attack and obloquy — 
the contempt of the ignorant, and 
tiie hatred of the wicked. By its 
very moral constitution, this was 
a necessity. Its existence was a 
protest against narrowness and 
injustice — it was always the an- 
tagonist of him who worked evii 
---it was tlie unconpromising foe 
of whom the book of Baruch, 
describesas the wicked with these 

'•They showed no mercy to the 
widow, did no good to the father- 
less, nor helped any man in his 

How much more effective is 
this than the most labored invec- 
tive and bitter denunciation! 


But the question is asked, some- 
times by those who should know 
better, also b\' the candid and 
honest inquirer, if we do not 

present masonry as a substitute 
for the church, and rank its claims 
as superior to those of religion. 
Tliis is a well-worn question, but 
though the reply is obvious 
and trite enough to you, my 
brethren, and to the great mass 
of the people, for the sake of the 
young, it may deserve a serious 

In the language of Grand Mas- 
ter Whitehead, of New Jersey.* 

"The mason who subordinates 
the Church to the Lodge errs, 
and errs grievously. Each has 
its proper mission and its appro- 
priate sphere. But the mission of 
the Church is higher and more 
sacred than that of our fraternit}'. 
Masonry is of human origin; it 
claims no divine commission. It 
does not profess to be able to 
reconcile God and man; it is pow- 
erless to change the human heafrt; 
it carnjot save a soul from death. 
These are the prerogatives of 

"The mission of masonry is 
rather with the present than with 
the hereafter; rather with things 
temporal than with things eternal. 
It seeks to open the fountains 
of benevolence, to make the selfish 
man less selfish, the avaricious 
man less avai'icious, to soften the 
heart, and to bring the erring back 
into the path of duty. It stretches 
out its hands to succor the needv 
and the orphan, to dry the wid- 
ow's tears, to cause the sun to 
shine where shadow had rested, 
to make life a joy and not a bur- 

* W. S. Whitehead, G- M. New 
Jersfj, 1868, Address to Grand Lodge- 


den, to smooth tlie pillow of suf- 
fering and death. 

"It concedes to the church the 
more honored, influential, and 
sacred position, but strives, in its 
own peculiar way, and by its own 
peculiar influences, as a handmaid 
of the Church, to assist her in ev- 
ery good and perfect work." 

Masonry demands of no man 
his religious creed, so that he but 
acknowledge the great Arc'nitect 
of the Universe in the Almighty 
God. The truly religious man 
will hold his creed, whether writ- 
ten or unwritten, but masonry 
stops not to countersign it with 
her approval before she gives her 
blessino^. . And vet because the 
forms of the Church are not indis- 
pensable to the progress of ma- 
sonry, it must not be imagined 
that her work is left without the 
spirit of religion, the light shed 
by the Father into the minds and 
hearts of the children of men, and 
the outcome of the principles of 
eternal justice softened by mercy, 
between all men 

Wisely did the great La Place, 
who placed the grand gauge of 
the loftiest mathematics upon the 
immensities of' space declare, 
with ab.'-:o^ute confidence. 

"I have lived long enough to 
know what I did not at one 
time believe — that no society can 
be upheld in ha))piness and !u)n- 
or without the sentiment ofie- 

The masonic lodge, in our land, 
has, as its furniture, the 'Holy 
Wiitings'' which are held by ma- 
sons to be true, and received as the 

moral trestle-board. Indeed, the 
very existence of a lodge in three 
degrees is a perpetual denial of 
atheism. Unless there be three 
degrees of life — the natural, spir^ 
itual, and celestial-the lodge has 
taught nothing by its symbolic 

What that lodo^e contains 
in outward appearance, as sym- 
bolic of all that is good and true, 
I will recall, in the words of an 
eminent mason of the Cape Fear, 
whom some here will remember, 
the late lamented James Banks:* 

"Follow me within the Lodge. 
Behold the evidence of their wis- 
dom in every object, on which 
the eye can rest. There stands 
the Sacred Altar, witness of many 
a solemn tliought and word. On 
it rests the Holy Bible, square, 
and compass. Need I remind you 
of the lan;b skin or white leather 
apron, emblem of innocence and 
peculiar badge of a mason--the 
plighted hands,the blazing star, the 
mosaic pavement-~the square, the 
plumb and level, the All-Seeing 
eye--the sun, the moon and stars 
->the naked heart and sword of 
justice— the scythe of time— the 
broken column, the weeping vir- 
gin, the hour-glass ami the coffin, 
the new made grave, the sprig of 
acacia, the anchor, and the ark. 

Aye, and "the clouded canopy, 
or starry decked heaven, where 
all good men hope at last to ar- 
rive by the aid of the theolog-ical 
ladder which Jacob saw in his 
vision, the three principal rounds 

*Frora an unpublished address. 


of which are Faith, Hope, and 

"Can I remind you of these em 
blems, their moral and signifi- 
cance, and not remind you of the 
zeal, the skill, the wisdom, and 
the love of the ancient fathers? 

It is good to study tiie designs 
upon "the trestle-board," and wise 
to commune with the mighty 
dead. It will lead us to think 
upon the uncertainty of life, and 
tiie immortality of the soul; and 
these thoughts will lead to the 
cultivation of the masonic virtues, 
which were so beautifully accom- 
pli.ihed in tiie life and character 
of St. John the Evangelist." 

One thing may be safely affir- 
med; that the true mason will, in 
all lands, live that life that befits 
him to reach, and to display the 
religious graces that may be in 
the possession of his people. A 
light of masonry has declared, 
who was himself a minister of the 
Christian religion, and a priest of 
the Church of England:! 

"Our profession is to cultivate 
wisdom, to maintain charity, and 
to live in harmony and brotherly 
love'' Says he, 

"When a man is said to be a 
mason, the world may know that 
he is one to whom the burdened 
heart may pourfortli its sorrows; 
to whom the distressed may pre* 
fnr their suit; whose hand is guid- 
ed by justice, and whose heart is 
expanded by benevolence," 

Says a beloved Past Grand 
Master. I 

[Oliver, pai^e 4'), 

:j.P. G. M., John Nieliols. 

"The brightest jewel in the 
masonic casket is Charity. Ma- 
sonic Charity in its comprehen- 
sive scope views every man as a 
brother in one sense; weeps over 
his miseries, and seeks to enlio^h- 
ten his ignorance, defends his 
helplessness, strives to relieve his 
wants, whispers good counsel in 
his ear, rejoices in his prosperity, 
and glories in his emancipation 
from error, superstition and 


Yet the^rder of masonry is not 
simply a benevolent society, es- 
tablished for the convenient and 
systematic bestowal of charity 
when required. This is a wide 
spread error, and confounds our 
ancient craft with the many or- 
ofanizations sorino'ino' to life with 
the passing years, and doing their 
own good work in relieving the 
widow and the orphan, the crip- 
pled, the sick and the poor. Many 
other agencies abound in the 
work of relief Woman is 
always running the errand of 
mercy with the willing feet of 

The true mason abhors the ar- 
rogant spirit that would claim 
even for his revered and beloved 
craft a special privilege as the 
almoner of mankind. Nay, he 
knows full well, that if the mvstic 
tie were annihilated upon earth, 
the sweet influence of charity 
would yet be shed among men. 
Cowper has beautifully written 

"True charity, a plant divinely nursed, 
Fed hy tlielove from wiiich it rose at first. 



Thrives against hope, and in the rudest 

Storms but enliven its unfading green ; 
ExuVrant is the shadow it supplies, 
Its fruit on earth, its growth above the 

And the poet of nature, in aK 
lusion to the spontaneous distri 
bution of these fairest graces of 
life, gratefully declares: 
•'The primal duties shine aloft like stars. 
The cliarities that soothe and heal and 

Lie scattered at the feet of men like 

flowers." — Wordsworth. 

1 need not remind my brethren 
that the charity of masonry is "as 
expansive as the blue arch of 
heaven itself, and co-extensive 
with the boundaries of the world." 

Bat it is only the atmosphere 
of the masonic life, and not the 
organic power itself. There is 
a force in masonry which sepa- 
rates its place among mankind 
f;ora all societies of charity or 
mutual benevolence, and wliich 
distinguishes it from the works 
efthe church itself tlu'oughout 
the world. 

of God, armed with Divine wrath, 
and she offers, beyond this life, 
the reward of the just, in the 
blissful abodes of immortality. 

The solemn and impressive 
words of Job, in that wonderful 
book of the oldesli^ dialect ot 
Scripture, come down to all men 

"If I have withheld the poor 
from tlieir desire, or liave caused 
the eyes of the widow to fail; or 
have eaten my morsel myself 
alone, and the fatherless have not 
eaten thereof; if I have seen any 
perish for want of clothing, or 
any poor without a covering, if 
his loins have not blessed me, and 
if he were not warmed with the 
fleece of my sheep; if I have lift* 
ed up my hand against the fath- 
erless, — then let mine arm fall 
from my shoulder-blade, and 
mine arm be broken from the 

Yet it must not be supposed 
that masonry does not cheerish 
the purest principles of honor and 
justice. Every brother is fami- 
liar with the definition, so far as 
it may go, that Freemasonry is 
"a beautiful system of morality, 
veiled in allegory and illustrated 
by symbols," 


Nor yet again does masonry 
consist in a scheme for the instruc 
tion of men in the principles of 
morality, and the enforcement of 
righteous conduct, as its prima- 
ry, and chief object, in the sense 
that would render its aim the 
cultivation of personal morality 
as its great and sole end. 

This is the work of the church, 
and religion can, not only present cations by whicn 
these truths with all their inher- world — the seed 


But yet there is something- still, 

in the central cove of masqnry — 

the heart that sends its ciculaiing 

principle through all the ramifi- 

it clasps the 

of the tree. 

bnt force and power, but she i whose branches shade with im- 
apeaks with the did'ect authority partial protection all the tribes 


of earth. 

In the words of a masonic 
brother,* so far as the true genius 
of our institution may be revealed 
to the world, 

"I hold that the central idea 
of Masonry, the foundation stone 
upon which the superstructure 
rests, is the recognition and prac- 
tical application of the great 
principle of the universal Broth- 
erhood of Man. Whether he 
drew his first breath amid polar 
snows or under the burning sun 
of the tropics; whether he owes 
political allegiance to an Empire, 
a Kingdom or a Republic; wheth- 
er he be clad in the purple of 
Dives, or the rags of Lazarus; 
whether his skin be bleached with 
the hue of the CaucasiaD, or be 
clouded with the 'shadow'd livery 
of the burnish'd sun;' whether he 
worship his Grod in a Protestant 
Church, a Catholic Cathedral, a 
Jewish Synagogue, or a Mo- 
Jiammedan Mosque; the great 
lesson which Masonry teaches 
to its votaries is, that 'a man's a 
man for a'tliat.' Love of country 
is a glorious and beautiful thing 
in its place, and one of the noblest 
passions that can animate the hu- 
man breast. 'If I forget thee, 
Jerusalem, let my right hand for- 
get her cunning.' 

Political preferences and affilia* 
tions are good things in their 
place. He is unworthy of his 
birthright as a citizen of this Re- 
public, who has not fixed views 
upon the great questions of public 

*(t M. Whitehead, of New Jersey. A(l^ 
dress, 186S. 

policy, which agitate the State 
and country. 

But the great heart of humani- 
ty, weary of the unceasing and 
harassing strife of this busy and 
selfish world, longs for some 
common platform, where rumors 
of contentions on these and kin- 
dred subjects can never reach it 
more. And this eager longing of 
the human heart the Masonic in- 
stitution alone can satisfy." 

These truths, brethren, are ap- 
ples of gold, in pictures of silver. 
They present an expansion of the 
definition propounded by Ander- 
son, on the revival of speculative 
Masonry, in 1723t— 

"The end, the moral, and pur- 
port of Masonry is, to subdue 
our passions, not to do our own 
will; to make a daily progress in 
a laudable art, and to promote 
morality,charity, good fellowship, 
good nature and humanity." 

It was said of Socrates, the 
noblest specimen of the heathen 
sages, that he spent his life in the 
endeavor to subdue the passions, 
which has ever been the aim of 
the best of men. 

The work of Masonry is direc- 
ted toward the building up of the 
loftiest manliood. The graces of 
benevolence and of charity are 
the natural movements ot the 
hand of the fully matured human- 
ity that our ancient craft devel- 

It is not only a science but an 
art. Like the graceful touch 
that embellishes the fairy pinna- 
cles of Milan, or the tower of Co- 

tOliver, Book ot the Lodge, page 4. 



logne, climbing heavenward for 
centuries, the genius of Masonry 
adorns the industries of men, and 
teaches the last secrets of the 
arts, wherever men seek to ex- 
press strength in architecture, 
beauty, in painting and sculp- 
ture, and wisdom in words whose 
rhetoric befits the music that has 
strayed to earth from her celes- 
tial spheres. 

So, too, do the secret and in- 
violable signs of masonry consti- 
tute a universal language around 
the globe, to express a common 
sympathy, a common greeting, 
and a common appeal for aid in 
time of woe. 

''Like warp and woof all destinies 

Are woven fast, 
liink'd in sympathy like the keys, 

Of an organ vast; 
Plnck one thread and the web ye mar; 

Break but one 
Of a thousand keys, and the paining jar 
Throuffh all will run," 

Sir John Herschel says of 
Truth, and the life of the astron- 
omer is, from its very nature, the 
never ending pursuit of mathe- 
matical truth. 

"The grand, and indeed the 
only character of truth, is its ca- 
pability of enduring the test of 
universal experience, and coming 
unchanged out of every possible 
form of fair discussion." 

Tried by that test, our beloved 
craft triumphantly points to the 
successive trials of centuries, 
only to come forth fairer than ev- 
er for the blessing of mankind. 

If I may be allowed to formu- 
late a description, Masonry is the 
systematic pursuit of truth, as a 

science; and as an art, it is the 
practice of the highest brother- 
hood of man. 

The royal Duke of Sussex, so 
long Grand Master of England, 
declared that, 

"Masonry is one of the most 
sublime and perfect institutions 
that ever was formed for the ad- 
vancement of the happiness and 
general good of mankind. It holds 
out allurements so captivating as 
to inspire the brotherhood with 
emulation to deeds of glory, such 
as must command, throughout 
the world, veneration and applause 
I and such as must entitle those 
who perform them to dignity and 
I respect." 

I A Masonic brother,* says of 
our craft, 

"The true intent and design of 
all its ceremonies, mystic rites, 
forms and symbols, is to elevate 
and improve, not only its devo- 
tees, but mankind; and whenever 
the pure teachings of Masonry 
! fail to improve and elevate, and 
I make men better, and more con- 
jsiderate and thoughtful, the fault 
i is with those who impart its mys- 
I teries, by its forms and ceremo- 
nies, or in those who receive 

i Masonry fixes, defines, and 

' points out all the duties of man 

to liiniself, and his relations to so- 

; ciety- It enters the family, and 

j points out the obligations we owe 

there, requiring us to peiform all 

' the duties of a good father, a 

kind husband, an obedient son, 

*Grand Master Natih^ of Minnes(vta, in 
au Address iu 18G7. 



and an affectionate brother. 

It goes from the family to the 
social and business circles of so- 
ciety, and requires us to be true 
and faithful to our friends, faith- 
ful to all the promises we make, 
the pledges we give, and the vows 
that we voluntarily assume. 

It makes it obligatory to be 
faithful to our couotiV, and to 
maintain its honor and dignity. 
It is silent on no subject that con- 
cerns man and all his relations." 

In referring briefly to the his- 
toric monuments of our craft, it 
is not, my brethren and compan- 
ions, that your speaker would 
presume to instruct those at whose 
feet he would gladly sit to learn 
the mysterious lore, and to catch 
the traditional memories of our 
ancestors, but it may not be 
without interest to remind those 
of our friends without the portals 
of tlie order, of the just claims to 
antiquity which have been ad- 
verted to, in all its descriptions. 

To sav nothing" of the tradi 
tions which under the prohibition 
of written chronicles, have been 
retained of Masonry in the East 
in remote ages, spreading to Eu» 
rope and tlie British Isles, with 
the gradual enlightenment of the 
earth in the arts and sciences, I 
will point you to the well ascer- 
tained assemblage of Freemasons 
in Yorkshire, nearly a thousand 
veHrs ago. 

Modern investigations by those 
best qualified to pronounce, con- 
firm the ancient i)elief that in 
926 A. D., a Lodge was institiited 
near the city of York, under the 

charter of King Athelstane; and 
near that ci'ty, an ancient lodge 
exists, whose charter is yet pre- 
served, written in Anglo-Saxon. 

Here and there, scattered 
through profane history may be 
found the fossil remains,as it were, 
of masonic existence under 
the tedious folios which contain 
the strata of annual social pro- 

In the twelfth century the or] 
der advanced to Scotland, where' 
among a people of such intelli- 
gence and native force of charac- 
ter, the order reached a high de- 
gree of prosperity. James I of 
that kingdom specified the reve- 
nue to be paid by each Master 
Mason to the Grand Master. 

In the thirteenth century we 
learn that the masons of Germa- 
ny accepted the obligations which 
affiliated them with their brethren 
of England. 

Jn later days efforts were made 
to circumscribe the growing in- 
fluence of Masonry, as by the 
Act of Parliament in 1425, 
under Henry VI, prohibiting the 
meetings of chapters, and the 
Virgin Queen, Elizabeth, strove 
at one time to destroy Masonry 
in England altogether, but her 
mistaken wrath was turned aside. 

There are numerous references 
in local histories and personal bi- 
ographies to the social influences 
of Masonry for several centuries 
succeeding, down to the present 
day. Of these may be noted the 
diary of Ashmole, the antiquary, 
who was made a mason in 1646. 

On the accession of George I, 



the operative masons, then depri- 
ved of Sir Christopher Wren as 
their Grand Master, as we are 
informed by Masonic historians, 
met together on St. John the 
Baptist's Day, at their place of 
gathering in St. Paul's Church, in 
the year 1717, and the only four 
lodges in the South of England 
being present, together with va- 
rious old Masons, in the words of 
Preston,* the lecturer and histo- 

"The oldest Master Mason 
and the Master of a Lodge hav- 
ing taken the chair, a list of 
proper candidates for the office 
of Grand Master was produced, 
and the names being separately 
proposed, the brethren, by a 
great majority of hands, elected 
Mr. Anthony Sayer, Grand Mas- 
ter of Masons for the ensuing 
year; who was forthwith invested 
by the said oldest Master, install- 
ed by the Master of the oldest 
Lodge, and duly congratulated 
by the assembly, who paid him 

It is not contended by intelli- 
gent Masons that much has not 
been added by the great lights 
in speculative Masonry since the 
revival of the craft in 1717, which 
was undeveloped or fallen into 
disuse before that period. The 
spirit of Masonry is one of prog- 
ress, but is of slow and steady 
growth. But the declaration of 
Mackay, in the most learned and 
comprehensive work upon what- 
ever pertains to our craft, after 

* Mackay, Encyclopaedia of Masonry, 
pstge 645. 

the results of the most severe in- 
vestigations have been duly con- 
sidered, is given in the following 

"There is unquestionable evi^ 
dence that the modes of recogni- 
tion, the method of government, 
the legends, and much of the 
ceremonial of initiation, were in 
existence atnong the Operative 
Masons of the Middle Ages, and 
were transmitted to the Specula- 
tive Masons of the eighteenth 

In 1729, the Duke of Norfolk 
selected Daniel Cox as Provincial 
Grand Master for the colony of 
New Jersey, but organic history 
in this country begins with the 
establishment of St. John's Lodge 
in Boston, in 1733 under charter 
from the Grand Lodge of Eng- 
land, the warrant being granted 
by Lord Viscount Montacute, 
Grand Master. 

• The Ancient or Scottish sys- 
tem was introduced into Ameri- 
ca, bv charter from Lord Aber- 
dour in 1756, and the two 
were maintained side by side in 
various states until their union in 
1792, left but one Grand Lodge 
in each state. General Joseph 
Warren who fell at Bunker Hill 
was the first Grand Master of 
the Lodge organized under the 
authority referred to, of the An- 
cient Grand Lodge of Scotland. 


! The early annals of masonry in 
I North Carolina are of surpassing 
j interest, while they are not free 
I from points of uncertainty in date 



as to respective events. Thus 
Mackay the historian reproves 
the carelessness of Grand Secre- 
tary Williams of North Carolina, 
who informed the Grand Lodge 
of Kentucky in 1808, that "the 
Grand Lodge of Nortli Carolina 
was instituted by charter from 
the Grand Lodge of Scotland, b}^ 
Henry Somerset, Duke of Beau- 
fort, as Giand Master. But he 
liimself asserts probably the true 
date of the Provincial Grand 
Lodge of North Carolina was 
by the appointment of Joseph 
Montford as Provincial Grand 
Master toward 1769, by the 
Duke of Beaufort of the Grand 
Lodge of England, and that in 
1771, said Montfort constituted 
St. John's Lodge at Newbern. 

Here it may he well to state 
that the unpublished manuscript 
history of James Banks, w'lo had 
examined this topic with filial 
zeal, contains an extract from the 
Freemason's Monitor, printed in 
1797, whicli recites the establish- 
ment of masonry in Boston, as 
stated, by authority of Viscount 
Montacute, G 'and Master of Ma- 1 
sons in England, and further | 
states that on "October 2nd 1767, 
a dispensation was granted by 
the> Grand Lodge in Boston, to 
t}i« Right Woishipful Thomas 
Cooper, Master of Pitt County 
Lodge in North Ccuolina, consti- 
tiitiiig him Deputy Grand Mas- 
ter of that Province. He was 
commissiinied with power to con- 
git-gate all the Brethren theii re- 
siding, oi' thnt shoidd afterwards 
letjide in said Province, into one 

or more Lodges as he should see 
fit." Banks follows this with a 
statement that, "The first Lodge, 
according to the author of the 
"Monitor," was established at 
Crown Point, in Pitt County. In 
a subsequent edition of the Modn. 
itor, published in 1818, the au- 
thor has omitted this statement 
relative to the institution of 
Lodges in this State; and writes 
as follows: 

"The Grand Lodge of North 
Carolina was first constituted by 
virtue of a charter from the Grand 
Lodge of Scotland, A. D., 1771. 
It convened occasionally atNew-* 
bern, and Edenton, at which lat- 
ter place the records were depos- 
ited previous to the revolutionary 
war. During the contest, the 
records were destroyed by the 
British army, and the meetings 
of the Grand Lodge suspended." 

On which our author comments: 
"These are substantially all the 
statements that can be gathered 
from "the Books'' relative to the 
history of Masonry in North 

I venture to extract further 
from the unpublished manuscript 
of Banks as follows: 

"In the communication of the 
Most Worshipful Robert WiL 
liams. Grand Masterof the Grand 
Lodge of North Carolina and 
Tennessee in 1812, he says: 

"I fortunately received into 
my possession the Great Charter 
under the sign manual, sealed 
with the seal, and impressed with 
the Coat of Arms of the Duke of 
Beaufort, Grand Master of the 

- 14. 


Grand Lodge of Ancient York 
Masons, in England, dated at 
London, the 14th day of January, 
A. D., 1771, constituting and ap- 
pointing Joseph Montfort Esq., 
of Halifax N C, Provincial 
Grand Master of America, au« 
thorizing and empowering the 
said Joseph Montfort as Provin- 
cial Grand Master, to make, con- 
stitute, and regulate Lodges in his 
then Majesty's piovince of Amer- 

This document is important 
in the history of Masonry in tliis 
State, as it shows in what man- 
ner several of the oldest Lodo^es 
under our jurisdiction obtained 
their authoritv. 

The Royal" White Hart Lodge 
No. 2, in the town of Halifax, is 
one deriving its original constitu- 
tion fro in this source. Tlie Great 
Charter was preserved among tlie 
Arcliives of this Lodge in Halifax, 
and is claimed b}^ tiiem; from 
whom the temporary possession 
was obtained by me, accompa- 
nied with a promise to return it. 

J liave since addressed the 
Lodge respectfully, in my official 
capacity, soliciting this instru- 
ment as proper to be deposited 
among our Grand Archives; it 
being the original authority of 
tlie craft in our state, and the 
foundation of that jurisdiction 
which we now exercise. 

The Lodges constituted under 
this charter in the regal govern- 
ment of this I'ountrv, were most- 
ly those, which after the Revolu- 
tionary war assembled in conven 
tion at the town of Tirborouffh 

in A. L. 5787, and established 
the authority of which we are 
now possessed." 

Grand Master Williams farther 
refers to the preparation of a C(^py 
of the said paper. It may be in- 
teresting to note that there is in 
our Archives at Raleigh, a copy of 
a charter to the Royal White 
Hart Lodge, itself hoarv with 
nge, beai'ing date August 21st 
1767, and a paper filed with the 
same, gives the record of a meet- 
ing of sjiid r^odge on Friday May 
20th 1767, at which the charter 
"was unanimously and gratefully 
received and it was oi-dered that 
the Secretary write a letter to the 
Grand Lodge of England return- 
ing thanks for the honor wlii(;h 
the Grand Master has been pleas- 
ed to confer on tiiem and that 
the said charter be copied in our 
book of Records." The names of 
Joseph Moiittort, Master, and the 
several officers and members are 
duly recorded. 

It is wortiiy of note, also, that 
military or travelling Jjodges 
were constituted during the revo- 
lnti(»nnry war, and various North 
Carolinians admitted to the privi- 
leges of the order. Hayden. the 
masonic biographer of Washing- 
ton, affirms that a lodge was or- 
ganized in a North Carolina reg~ 
iment, in 1783. 

Returning to the the narrative 
by Banks: 

"It thus appears that Lodges 
were constituted in North Caroli- 
na by virtue of charters from 
England and Scotland and Mas- 
sachusetts, and also by virtue of 



charters from Joseph Montfort ceedin^s of this convention, that 
of Halifax, Provincial Grand the members did not presume to 
Master of America. derive their power to organize 

Thevarionssourcesfrom vi^hich|the Grand Lodge, either from 
the several Lodges derived their ' England, Scotland, Massachn- 
powers, and the difference in setts, Tliomas Cooper, or Joseph 
their numbers, doubtless created Mt)ntfort, Provincial Grand Mas- 
tlie difficulties tliat arose upon ter of America, but it recognized 
the oro-anization of the Grand all the Lodges that had been 

Lodge in 1787. Tiie charter from 
the Dwke of Beaufort, so minute- 
Iv described by M. W. Grand 
Master WilHams, still adorns the 
walls of the Grand L<^dge in 
Rileigh, and is an object of 
veneration to all the uiembers of" 
that body, :it its annual commu 

Joseph Montfort, upon whom 
the Chartered Ivonors were con- 
ferred, was a native of England 

regularly' constituted by charters 
from these several sources, and 
feelinur that North Carolina was 
a free sovereign and independent 
State, the Convention of Masons 
from the several Lodges named 
felt thf>t they had a right to or- 
ganize a Grand Lodge for North 
Carolina, subject only to the 
Book of Constitutions," and the 
'landmarks of the order. The 
wisdom of the deliberations of the 

He died at Halifax in 1776, and j Convention when published will 
his danghter married Willie i command the approval and ex- 
Jones, one of the framers of the cite the admiration of the Sons of 
Constitution and Bill of Rights Light wherever read.' 

The first regular communica- 

of the State. ***** 

Of the charter to Thomas |tion of the Grand Lodge took 
Cooper of Pitt, no trace or re- j place at Hillsboro, July 23rd 

cord is known to exist.'' 

After the shock of tiie revolu 

1788. At the same time the 
Convention was in session, and 

tion had passed away, and our ; at the same place, to consider the 
forefathers returned to the arts | question of accepting the Consti- 
of peace, jI call was made for the I tion of the United States, on the 
gathering of the Lodges in Con- i part of North Carolina, Samuel 
vbntion, at, Fayetteville in 1780, Johnston was Grand Master, and 
but this did not meet a satisfac- 1 Richard Caswell Deputy Grand 
tory response, audit was not! Master. This harmonius Lodge 
until Dec; Z&th 1787, that a con-! of masonic brethren was formed 
vention of seven Lodoes met at ' from bodies under various juris- 

Tarborough, and organized the 
Grajid Lodge. The records have 
bemi preserved in detail. Banks 
says of this important body: 
"It will be seen from, the pro 

dictions, several years previous 
to the general movement for con- 
solidation in the several States, 
to unite in but one Grand Lodge, 
for each State which occurred 



about 1792. 

Questions of precedence were 
under consideration at repeated 
intervals, until the Grand Lodge 
authoritatively decided in favor 
of the seniority of Hie venerable 
St. John's Lodge, No. 1, of Wil- 
mington, which I have the honor 
to address and to congratulate, 
this day, upon the vigor of youth 
and the honors of age. 

I have ventured, my brethren, 
to stop by the way in a review of 
our Masonic ancestry, because 
the facts to which I allude are 
imperfectly known, or unpublish- 
ed, and current Masonic history 
is painfully incomplete in regard 
to our own annals. 

To form a correct judgment of 
the character of a society or a 
family, the knowledge of its indi- 
vidual members is a fair criterion. 
Tried by this test, what has Ma- 
sonry been, in North Carolinaf 

As the eye glances along the 
familiar and time-honored names 
of the members who were present 
at the first communication of the 
Grand Lodge, what feelings of 
reverence till our hearts, in tiie 
contemplation of so much learning 
wisdom, goodness, and patriotism, 
brought by son»e superb alchemy 
into the union that formed 'one 
entire and perfect chrysolite.' 

Caswell was there, soon to be 
called from earth while exercising 
the functions of Grand Master 
and attending the subsequent 
convention at Fayettville, which 
united North Carolina with the 
United States of America. 
And with Caswell, were remem- 

bered, as brethren of the mystic 
tie, the statesmen whose descen- 
dants gave their names to one 
ninth of the territory of the old 
North State — Caswell, Johnston, 
Cabarrus, Stokes, Davie, David- 
son, Polk, Alexander, and Cald- 

The lamented Banks, in the 
manuscript from which we quote, 
eloquentU declares of other mem 
hers of this same body of patriots, 
and faithful workers of the craft 

"Strike from the roll of North 
Carolinians, the names of Jones, 
Potter, Taylor, Avery, DufTy, 
and Hall, and vou would blot out 
from the niemory of the people, a 
tithe of their knowledjjce of the 
principles, on which property, 
life, liberty, and reputation is pre- 
served, by the joint action of the 
eloquent advocates, and the in- 
corruptible judge. — 

'Strike from the list of North 
Carolinians the names toimd upon 
the roll of your earliest masonii- 
temple, and you would blot out 
the remembrance of one seventh 
of those who up to tiiis time have 
been called to the office of Gov» 
ernor of the State. 

The roll presented is one of 
which the craft may well be 
proud, and though they have a 1 
passed away, yet their memories 
shall remain as green iis a sprig 
of acacia among the Sons of 

The last survivors of the first 

Grand Lodge were William Boy- 

Ian, and Judge Potter who died 

in the 9ord year of his age. 

' By 1798, thirty active and 

G. D. H.P. OF NORTH cSf/sistf^A. 

17 .- 

zealous Lodges existed in North 
Carolina, and it is known that 
the early patriotism of our breth- 
ren was exhibited by the presence 
of members from every Lodge 
within our jurisdiction in the 
army or navy of the United States 
during the war of 1812. 

Even before the incoming of 
the present century our Grand 
Lodge had exchanged fraternal 
relations with all the Grand 
Lodges of the United States, and 
was beginning to be known 

In December 1813, she be- 
came the Mother Lodge of the 
Grand Lodge of Tennessee, and 
subsequently extended the privi- 
leges of Masonry to Mississippi, 
her Grand lodge being formed 
from lodges chartered by North 
Carolina, first granted to Friend- 
ship Lodge in 1814,as ourrecords 

This rapid glance at masonic 
liistory, can not omit the painful 
retrospect of ti»e period when po- 
litical fanatics sought the destruc- 
tion of our venerable order in 
America, upon which to mount to 
place and power, and William 
Wirt became their nominee upon 
the Anti- Masonic platform, for 
the national Presidency. A 
tempest swept over the land, and 
many lodges went down, inclu- 
ding for a time even the Grand 
Lodgjs of Michigan and Vermont. 
Mortal men have the weakness 
that separates from the inflexible 
strength of celestial spirits, and 
even a Galileo quailed in the 
presence of persecution. 

I In common with all other jur* 
isdictions. North Carolina suffer- 
ed, and when the Grand Lodge 
assembled in Raleigh, Dec. 1st 
1834, only six lodges were repre* 
sented— two from Wake, two 
from Duplin, one from Camden, 
and the remaining one was that 
venerable and time-honored body 
St. John's Lodge, No. 1, which I 
have the privilege to address. 
Bro. L. H. Marsteller was its rep- 
resentative, and he was placed in 
the Grand Master's chair in the 
following year. 

In that period of extremepolit- 
ical excitement, of false and spe- 
cious accusation, and of popular 
fury, it was a display of cour- 
age, in your ancestors, entitling 
them to a bright page in history, 
and you, as their children and 
successors, to a just pride in their 

The darkest period had passed, 
and by 1839, the steady growth 
of our order had begun which has 
culminated in the life and power 
which it exhibits to day in the 
236 active lodges and 11,482 
members that acknowledge the 
jurisdiction of North Carolina. 
I For this prosperity it is largely 
indebted to the light shed abroad 
by St. John's Lodge, especially 
after the reforms of her rules and 
working in 1842, under the influ, 
ence of brother 


And here let us pause by the 
newly made grave, that has" worn 
the green robe of but a single 
spring to drop a tear to the mem- 



Orv of your brother Phineas W. ! II«^^\§<^"tly they sleep after life's peaceful 

Fanning. For sixty years a | They rest from their labors— their wa.o-es are 

heir work by the Grand Master's test is 
found true — 

brother of the mvstic tie, a lead^ ,„ 

ing spirit in your councils, and ■ 

in those of Roval Arch Masonrv, '.J?'"*? 'V'''' ^'^""^Wine of .iustice and right, 

p ._-. -^ i-nri " '/lo the Level, on which all good Masons 

from 1824,— Grand Master of 


North Carolina thirty five years !^'^*^f^'^.^"*^"^«*'"*^i-'^^''ty;/iitne and love, 

- . •> -^ . Ana»theu' \vag(>s are paid \n tlie temple 

ago, and tor three successive ; above. 

j time, 

j Througii the last ceremonials, solemn, su- 

Of that Higher Degree, ye have ne'erpassetl 

We too soon must follow— must pass thro' 
the door 

Of Death, into scenes most enchantingly 

To the tlirone of Jehovah, wliose presence 
is Lislit. 

terms, and afterwards proud to j They rest from tlieir labors-farewell for a 

be the Master of his venerable 
Lodge. Just as he adorned with 
the loving labor of his own hands 
the hall, which the row aged 
Bishop Green dedicated tor you 
this day, forty years ago save 
one, so did he adorn a long life 
with masonic works and deeds. 

Your committee, whose chair- 
man was that distinguished broth- 
er, Alfred Martin, of whom I 
will not speak, because he is yet 
among his brethren, declared of 
the departed Fanning in touching 
terms tliat, 

"After the labors of more than 
three score years in the Great 
Temple of Masonry, he has quiet- 
ly folded his Masonic mantle 
around him, and calmly laid his 
weary body down to enjoy that 
eternal rest, which we trust awaits 
the just and the true in the life 
beyond the grave." 
Think of the good for fellow men 
that can be accomplished in three 
score years. Recall the long 
line of faithful brothers in your 
lodge, and throughout North 
Carolina who for a century past, 
kept bright their working tools, 
and have gone in solemn proces- 
sion, one by one, to receive their 


''They rest from their labors — how sweet 
their iepose, 

O then may we all be permitted at last, 
When prepared, we the Grand Tvler Death 

shall have past. 
To join in the rites of tiie Gi-aud Lodge 

Whose Degrees are the essence, perfection 

of Love; 
With archangel to unite in thanksgiving 

and praise, 
To the Holiest of Holies — the Ancient of 


To tlie candid inquirer who 
would study masonrv, througii 
the lives of tiiose who are breth- 
ren, I would point not to the ex- 
alted rank of such Grand xMas- 
ters now in power as the Prince 
of Wales now ruling the Grand 
r^odge of England, or the Kimpe- 
ror William of Germany, nor to 
the grand soectacle of the inter- 
ment of the late President of the 
United States under the escort 
of the Commandery of whicii he 
was a devoted Sir Knight, but I 
would turn even to the elder days 
of the republic. 

Do you seek an example of 
generous advocacy of the rights 
of struggling peoples, and of long 
and patriotic endeavour to pre— 



serve peace and harmony among 
the American people? Behold it 
in the Royal Arch Mason, Henrv 

Would you search for inflexi- 
ble courage in battle, and un- 
swerving integrity of purpose and 
character? Find it in Andrew 
Jackson, the Mason. 

Do you look for intelligent 
foresight applied to the public 
good and the diligent application 
of industrial science to the build- 
ing of national prosperity? See 
it in De Witt Clinton, the Mason. 

Would you contemplate the 
rarest treasures of political learn- 
ing, combined with the utmost 
simplicity and purity of personal 
life? Observe it in Thomas Jef- 
lerson, the Mason 

Would )'0u note the value of 
unwearied industry, extraordi- 
nary pei'severance, and honora- 
ble frugality, united with the 
most comprehensive sagacity? 
S»e it in Benjamin Franklin, the 

Finally, my brethren, would 
}'ou trace the complete outline of 
the perfect statue of human char- 
acter, blended in such harmonious 
whole, as to have vvon for him an 
unapproachable shrine in the tem- 
ple of human fame, behold it 
in the Father of his Country, the 
blaster Mason, George Washing- 

It is upaiecessary to recite the 
well known incidents of the Ma- 
sonic life of our great first Presi- 
dent, but that the youthful may 
know that Washinjjton cherished 
his masonic privileges throughout 

his life, I would remind them of 
the words written by him to St. 
David's Lodge at Newport R. I, 
in 1791, 

"Being persuaded that a just 
application of the principles oa 
which the Masonic fraternity is 
founded, must be promotive of 
private virtue and public prosper- 
ity, I shall always be happy to 
advance the interests of the So- 
ciety, and to be considered by 
them as a deserving brother." 

And again, in the very last year 
of nis life, he thus addressed the 
Grand Lodge of Maryland : 

"So far as I am acquainted 
with the doctrines and principles 
of Freemasonry, I conceive them 
to be founded in benevolence, and 
to be exercised only for the good 
of mankind.'' 


Has woman any interest in 

I this secret craft, the gate of which 

no member of her sex can pass, 

and whose inner mysteries must 

never be revealed by man? 

Let the words of a departed 
brother* reply : 

"Ask yonder Mason's widow, 
who unknown to those around her, 
found her cruise of oil replenish- 
ed when it was empty- -who, in 
time of frost and cold, found fuel 
at her door — when her children's 
portion, seeming ignorance, was 
freely supplied with enlightening 
knowledge . Ask her, who in 
whntever emergency she may 
have been placed, was never 
turned away empty, or told by a 

*Baiiks, Unpublished Address to St. 
Allan's Lodge. 



brother of her departed husband,! 
to "go and beg bread." 

Ask her if masonry has outliv- 
ed its day, and she will reply — 
'That can never be,until there are 
no poor brothers to be relieved— 
no widow's hearts to be comfort^ 
ed, and no orphan's innocence to 
be guarded — no prayers for help 
to be answered, and no wants to 
be supplied.' 

And yet woman has sometimes 
been found among the enemies of 
our order. 

Would she learn a lesson? Let 
her look at the depraved and ab- 
ject condition of her sex, until 
Masonry and Chivalry [represen- 
ted by these valiant, and mag- 
nanimous Sir Knights] in a race 
of rivalry in a noble cause, ele- 
vated her to her true position in 
social life, and declared her to be 
man's equal, worth)'- of his fond- 
est affection, and the dearest ob- 
ject earth could give, on which 
to centre the hopes and happiness 
of the human heart. 

Of the shield which Masonry 
has thrown around woman, she 
ever has and ever must remain in 
ignorance, but of this she may 
rest assured, that Masonr}^ can 
never forget her wants, her puri 
ty, and her happiness. 

The true mason has a well- 
spring of content in his heart, 
which is the answering echo to 
the words that have couie down 
through the ages from the golden 
mouthed saint, Chrysostom of 
the East, 

'Charity is the scope of all 
God's commands.' He has tasted 

that cup of everlasting joy, which 
Sir Phillip Sidney, who spoke 
these words, chose for his dying 
moments rather than the priceless 
cup of relief lie yeilded to anoth" 
er's suffering. 

'Doing good', said the knightly 
Sidney, 'is the only certainly hap- 
py action of a man's life.' 


We are too near the men and 
deeds of the present day to speak 
with becoming modesty of the 
works of our craft, or with tongues 
free from the strong impulses of 
fraternal regard. Let the brotlitr- 
hood of man as exliibited in my- 
riads of touching acts during the 
stupendous struggle of twenty 
years ago, and let the pious ef- 
forts of to day whicli sustain that 
great cliarity, the Orphan Asy- 
lum of North Carolina, be the 
theme of orator and poet in gQW" 
era! ions that are to come. 

And yet 1 will remind you of 
a single incident of that conflict 
related by a Grand Master* of 
North Carolina twelve } ears ago, 
and doubtless from the treasury 
of his own exj)erience: 

'In March 1865, a Confederate 
ofKcer was returning from a long 
and painful captivity to liis own 
distressed and bleeding region. 
The splendid steamer on which 
he was still a prisoner, passed old 
Fortress Monroe, the wrecks of 
the Congress and the Cumber- 
land, associated with the fame of 
the Merrimac, and entered the 
majestic James river. 

*Robt. B. Vance, Address to Grand 
Lodge in 1869. 



It was a fine day, and the 
deck was crowded with Federal 
officers. It was a continuous line 
of blue/ broken only by the sol- 
itary 'gray' of the officer mention- 
ed. As 'twilight gray' was com- 
ing on, he felt very lonely, aU 
though in a crowd. Desiring to 
see if any would recognize a 
brother 'in gray,' he simply walk- 
ed across tlie deck. 

In a moment, a man with siK 
ver locks was at his side, and 
the warm palm of the stranger 
caused a thrill in his. 'I saw 
you' said he, 'and you and your 
party [theie were eleven others 
in the cabin] must take tea with 
me.' They went. As the tea 
was finished, an officer with 
shoulder straps tapped the two 
brothers on the shoulder, remark- 
ing 'you must now separate.' No 
word was spoken, but the Con- 
federate drew from his pocket a 
prison ring, and slipped it on the 
finger of the stranger, while he 
took a beautiful masonic breast- 
pin, and placed it in the bosom of 
the gray. Then, while the cold, 
lovely stars looked down on the 
love of their bosoms, they gave 
the last true grip, never to be 
forgotten on earth,' 


And now, my brethren, I am 
admonished by the flight of time, 
that the parting hour has come 
for us. May each craftsman here 
so guide his footsteps, to use the 
language of the English bard: 

"That his bones, 

Wlien he has run his course, and sleeps in 

May have a tomb of orphan's tears wept 
on 'em." — Shakespeare. 

Men come and go, but truths 
never die. In the language of a 
devout Christian, and Grand 
Master* of a sister Lodge: 

"Can such principles, virtues, 
and truths, as we hold to be car- 
dinal, ever die? Nay, my breth- 
ren. All else may change. The 
sun on his fire-throne may grow 
dim with age, and cease to sway 
the sceptre of Light o'er the em- 
pire of universal being; the silver 
queen that 'rules the night,' and 
walks the azure vault amid a 
bright host, of celestial sisters, 
may wane and wax no more; 
earth, the sin^cursed abode of 
man, may realize the long groan- 
ed for deliverance, and rise, deck- 
ed with primal beauty, to roll for- 
ever amid the purified spheres 
and attendant worlds.constituting 
the new heavens and new earth; 
'the besom sweep of mutation will 
carry away all the greatness and 
glory of man, and entomb the 
whole in the remorseless, starless, 
unrelumable night of oblivion. 

The voice of wisdom, venera- 
ble as eternal centuries, comes- 
floating down the ages,and sounds 
in our ears the knell to all earth- 
ly greatness and human ambition 
— 'All flesh is as grass, and all the 
glory of man as the flower of 
grass. The grass withereth, and 
the flower thereof fall eth away.' 

But can principles die.^ The 
great and vital principles of Ma- 
sonry, that only, give it charac- 
ter and worth, like mountain 

*Hev John D Viiicil, Grand Master 
of Missouri, Address of 1867. 


springs dancing in the sunlight of 
ages are drops from the ever 
flowing Fullness. Is not truth, 
beautiful angel of the skies, eters 

for God is eternal, and 'I am' is 

My Brethren, Companions, and 
Sir Knights, Great is Truth, 

naif These must, nay, will live, | and mighty above all things ! 

tlortK £®ir©rm^ Sfaf^ Libry^ 

n i tlf 

Grissom, Eugene, 1831-1902. 
An address / 

3 3091 00256 7097 




MAY 3 





. , _ 


^^Z Syracuse, N. Y. 

^^Z Stockton, Colif. 




An address deUvered before the Masonic 
fraternity and the public, at